SACRAMENTO – As Sacramento Pride festivities get underway, there's one place in the city where you can celebrate and read LGBTQ+ stories all year round.
It's called the Lavender Library – and it offers more than just reading material, it also serves as a sanctuary place.
"This is the most banned book in the country right now," said Lenix Pecikonis, showing a copy of "Gender Queer: A Memoir" by Maia Kobabe.
The volunteer-run lending library has a lot to offer, including reading material not offered in most conventional libraries or public schools.
"It's literally a blanket list that it's the queer content alone or the defining yourself and finding where you fit in society that scares folks, so they're trying to ban them all across the country," Pecikonis said.
Pecikonis is a board member and says keeping banned books on their shelves is top priority and important for young members of the LGBTQ+ community.
"It really helps them find themselves and recognize that they're not alone, that they don't have to be afraid or scared because there are people like them out there," Pecikonis said.
The Lavender Library has been around for nearly 25 years and it's the only one of its kind in the area that's specific to all LGBTQ+ subjects. Their main mission is to collect, maintain, and offer reading material to the community in a safe environment.
And their efforts are having renewed purpose – especially with so much controversy surrounding LGBTQ+ curriculum across the country.
"We live in a time right now where, just because you have feelings you may not agree with that you're out and about and allowed to be loud and angry when gay and lesbian and trans folks and bisexual folks – everyone under the rainbow – we're just trying to exist," Pecikonis said.
The Lavender Library has a "banned book club" that meets once a month. It also offers other programs aimed at building up their community. They plan to be out this weekend at the Sacramento Pride march.
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